28 Quotes By Periyar That Remain Relevant Even Today

Venkatappa Ramasamy, revered as Periyar, was an Indian social activist and rationalist. Being a feminist and anti-caste reformer, Periyar had started a Dravidian movement in the state of Tamil Nadu.

Quotes By Periyar That Remain Relevant Even Today

Even after 45 years of his death, his quotes, thoughts, and ideology continue to dominate the social, cultural and political sphere of Tamil Nadu. He encouraged the policies of rationalism, self-respect, women’s rights and the eradication of caste. He has helped the Tamil society in its upliftment.

With that said, let's begin with our 28 quotes by Periyar which will tell you more about his wisdom.

Periyar Quotes About Feminism

1. “Man treats woman as his own property and not as being capable of feelings, like himself. The way man treats women is much worse than the way landlords treat servants and the high-caste treat the low-caste. These treat them so demeaningly only in situations mutually affecting them; but men treat cruelly and as slaves, from their birth till death.” – Periyar 

Periyar Quotes About Feminism


2. “The terms `Husband' and `Wife' are inappropriate. They are only companions ad partners. One does not slave for other. They both have equal status.” -  Periyar

3. “Women in India experience much worse suffering, humiliation and slavery in all spheres than even the untouchables.” - Periyar

4. “We see morality in speeches and writings. We do not find it in practice. We are having different regulations for the males and the females. Our code of conduct is unfair to women. Child marriage is abolished. If there is right to divorce, right for widows to remarry and if women are now given certain rights, we will not see prostitution in the country. It will gradually disappear.” -  Periyar

periyar quotes


5. “If we have a girl at home who has attained puberty, some one should come and ask for alliance. Otherwise the girl will have to remain a virgin only. But in a Brahmin's house if there is a girl who has attained puberty the Brahmin will go from door to door seeking a bridegroom. This is the difference between the Aryan and the Dravidian customs.” -  Periyar

Periyar Quotes On God and Brahmins

6. “I want to say a word to the Brahmins, In the name of God, religion, sastras you have duped us. We were the ruling people. Stop this life of cheating us from this year. Give room for rationalism and humanism.” -  Periyar

Periyar Quotes On God


7. “It gave me extraordinary pleasure to fling at the pundits their own contradictions and Thus perplex Them. It also gave me the reputation, among our neighbours of being a clever speaker. I believe that it was this experience which deprived me of faith in castes and communities, in religion, in "puranas", in "sastras" and in god.” -  Periyar

8. “It is absurd to quote religion or God or religious doctrines to render the people as lowest castes.” -  Periyar

9. “There is no god, there is no god, there is no god at all. He who invented god is a fool. He who propagates god is a scoundrel. He who worships god is a barbarian.” -  Periyar

Periyar Quotes On Brahmins


10. “I want the Brahmins to realize that the Dravidian people today are very much hating those who cunningly cheated them with absurdities. They are now aware of the particular community making a living by spreading the foolishness. People have begun to hate god, religion, caste, mythologies (puranas) and so on.” -  Periyar

11. “You cannot expect any rational thought from a religious man. He is like a rocking log in water.”

12. “Our country would be considered to have gained independence only when the villagers are completely rid of god, religion, castes, and blind beliefs. South India is quite different from the North in many respects. It is a distinct and separate State of Dravidian race.” -  Periyar

13. “Temples are thrown open to all. But it is the Brahmins only who still enjoy the right to ring the bell, and snatch away the coins falling in the plate. The lakhs of rupees spent in the name of temples is Dravidian money. Should it not be shared by our Dravidian people? A low caste Hindu converting himself to other religions will not gain anything, if his status remains the same in the new religion.” -  Periyar

14. “Brahmins cannot hope to claim a high and superior status forever. Times are changing. They have to come down. Then only they could survive with dignity. Otherwise they will one day be forfeiting their high status. It will not be by force. It will be just laws of the land and the people.” -  Periyar

15. “Those who still believe the Brahmins should take a serious not of the changing times and start leading an awakened life.” -  Periyar

16. “I want to say a word to the Brahmins, “In the name of God, religion, sastras you have duped us. We were the ruling people. Stop this life of cheating us from this year. Give room for rationalism and humanism.” -  Periyar

17. “The Brahmins are making you fools in the name of god. He makes you have faith in superstitions. He leads a very comfortable life condemning you as untouchable. He bargains with you to offer prayers to god on your behalf. I strongly condemn this brokerage business and warn you not to believe such Brahmins anymore.” -  Periyar

Periyar Quotes On Social Justice

18. “As long as we give room for domination and the dominators, there will be worries and worried people. Poverty and pestilence will live eternally in the country.” – Periyar

19. “Any opposition not based on rationalism or science or experience will one day or another, reveal fraud, selfishness, lies and conspiracies.” – Periyar

Periyar Quotes On Social Justice


20. “Capitalists control the machineries. They create difficulties to the workers. Consequently rationalism, which has to lead the way for peaceful life to all, has resulted in causing poverty and worries to the people because of dominating forces.” – Periyar

21. “By helping the poor, we must be able to remove their poverty. By extending help to one here and one there in the form of providing food will not remove poverty.” – Periyar

22. “Everyone has the right to refute any opinion. But no one has the right to prevent its expression.” – Periyar

Inspiring Thoughts By Periyar Ramasamy

23. “In other lands, knowledge alone is respected and trusted and held as the basis of everything, but in this country, men believe only in rituals and ceremonies, in God, in religion and such other rubbish.” – Periyar 

24. “Man does not grow by merely accepting whatever others have said. However, do listen to others, but later think with the help of your reason. Accept and try to follow what appears right to you.” – Periyar

Inspiring Thoughts By Periyar Ramasamy


25. “Religious devotion is for the individual. Character is for all. There is no loss if there is no devotion. Everything is lost if there is no character.” – Periyar

26. “Only education, self-respect and rational qualities will uplift the down-trodden.” – Periyar 

27. “The proper task of social reform is to remove poverty from society and to ensure that people do not sell their conscience to make a living.” – Periyar

28. “Whomsoever I love and hate, my principle is the same. That is, the educated, the rich and the administrators should not suck the blood of the poor.” – Periyar

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